Whitechapel station located in east London, England, is being upgraded for Crossrail services. Image courtesy of Cherryguy13.
The new concourse will provide access to the platforms via escalators and stairs. Image courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.
The underground tunnel at Whitechapel station under construction. Image courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.
The Durward Heath Shaft under construction at the new Whitechapel station. Image courtesy of Crossrail Ltd.

Whitechapel station, situated on Whitechapel Road in east London, England, was opened in 1876 by East London Railway. The station is currently undergoing a major upgrade to service the Crossrail line and is expected to serve approximately 100 million passengers a year.

Whitechapel Crossrail station is one of the nine new stations being built on the central section of the route. The journey time from the station to Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf station will be reduced to 39min and three minutes respectively.

Construction activities at Whitechapel station commenced in 2011 and are expected to be completed in 2018. The estimated cost of construction is £110m ($180m).

Project details

"Construction activities at Whitechapel station commenced in 2011 and are expected to be completed in 2018."

Whitechapel station will act as an interchange between the Crossrail, Hammersmith and City, District (HCDL) and London Overground (LO) lines. The station is expected to witness 24 Crossrail trains per day during peak times.

Trains from Whitechapel station will run to Liverpool Street station in the west and Stratford or Canary Wharf in the east.

Access to the underground station will be provided through the existing Whitechapel Road entrance. The upper concourse includes the ticket barriers and provides access to the HCDL and LO platforms by stairs and lift respectively. The lower concourse can be accessed through lift and stairs to reach the Crossrail platforms. The LO platforms can also be accessed using the lower concourse.

A public route will be provided alongside the concourse from Whitechapel Road to Durward Street.

The station will use escalators instead of stairs for approaching the London Underground platforms.

New design and structure

The new design of Whitechapel station was made public in June 2010. It includes the development of four new structures: Crossrail platforms, Cambridge Heath Shaft, Durward Heath Shaft and the ticket hall and concourse.

Platform tunnels, 200m in length, will be constructed to the north of the existing station. Access to the platforms from the concourses will be provided by three escalators.

Cambridge Heath Shaft will have a diameter of 30m, and will provide ventilation and emergency access. It is designed to reduce the visual impact for local residents, as well as construction traffic and noise.

Durward Heath Shaft is being constructed on the western side of the platform and north of the concourse. It will provide access to and exit from the platforms via escalators.

The new ticket hall comprises a large ticket gateline and a second wide-aisle gate to be built in place of the existing single storey concourse and passenger bridge. The concourse will be built above the LO line, and will extend from the station entrance of Whitechapel Road to Durward Street.

Station construction

"Tunneling is in process at a depth of 32m below the ground."

The major works include construction of platforms, Durward Heath Shaft, Cambridge Heath Shaft, local street improvement and retention of the existing entrance hall while demolishing the structure of the rear.

Two worksites were created, Essex Wharf worksite and Durward Street worksite. Trucks will access the worksites from Darling Row, Merceron Street and Brady Street during the closure of Durward Street Bridge from 2013 to 2017.

Tunneling is in process at a depth of 32m below the ground. Excavation works are being carried out to create 35m deep shafts near Durward Street and Cambridge Heath Road.

Contractors involved with the project

BBMV, a joint venture of Balfour Beatty, Alpine BeMo and Morgan Sindall & Vinci Construction, was awarded the construction contract for Whitechapel station.

The contractual scope includes partial demolition of the existing station, construction of the new station concourses, ticketing area, shafts, internal structures and platforms, and associated electromechanical and architectural works.